Climax Entertainment illustrator Yoshitaka Tamaki passes away at 55 years old

Man, what’s with all the bad news lately? I’m sorry today’s been such a downer, Sega fans. I’ve saved the saddest, most serious news for last though.

Beloved artist and character designer behind some of the Shining Force and Stalker games at Climax Entertainment, Yoshitaka Tamaki, unfortunately passed away from lung cancer on July 13th, 2023 at the still-too-young age of 55. He was just recently mourned in a private funeral service, according to a post from his own twitter that was translated by Gosokkyu.

Tamaki-san’s artwork was easily recognizable with its stylized merging of anime and Disney-esce visual styles. Sega fans will remember his art best from games like Shining in the Darkness, Shining Force, Landstalker, Time Stalkers, and Shining Soul I and II, each of the Sega games he worked on during his time at Climax Entertainment, the developers of all except for the two Shining Soul games. Before all that, he got his start in the video game industry working freelance at Enix until getting noticed by Climax and asked to design art for their first Genesis game, the aforementioned Shining in the Darkness. Besides those games, he would also illustrate for games like FEDA: The Emblem of Justice (both the Super Famicom original and its Sega Saturn remake), FEDA 2: White Surge, Alundra, and Assault Suits Vaiken. Unfortunately, photos of him are rare because he was rather camera shy in life.

We at Segabits humbly thank him for gracing us with his talent and wish the best for his friends and family. His stamp on Sega and video game history will remain long into his absence. 

Feel free to take in some of his amazing art from the Sega games he worked on as well as leave some best wishes and fond memories in the comments after the break.

Space Harrier II, Shining Force II, and Sonic Spinball Coming To The Nintendo Online Expansion Pass

Nintendo has announced three more games coming to the Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack, this time it is the tactical role-playing title Shining Force II, the pseudo-Super Scaler title Space Harrier II, and the pinball game with ear bleed option menu music Sonic Spinball. All three games will be available in all regions for Nintendo Switch owners that have the NSO Expansion service.

What is your thoughts on the new titles? Please comment below your thoughts.

First look at Shining Force: Heroes of Light and Darkness

Vespa and Hive today released a first look preview of “Shining Force: Heroes of Light and Darkness for mobile devices. Iconic characters from the “Shining Force” series such as Bowie, Sarah, and Max appear with a mysterious baby wrapped in a blue and red cloth, suggesting a grand story that unites the entire series as the game inherits the world view of the original, where the heroes become the “Shining Force” and win the battle against the Army of Darkness, and the story is set about 1000 years after the original game.

Shining Force: Heroes of Light and Darkness retains the simulation RPG elements of the original series with lively graphics and turn-based gameplay. Shining Force is scheduled to launch globally in the first half of 2022.

Source: 4Gamer


Shining Force: Heroes of Light and Darkness coming to mobile

It seems that Shining Force series, the classic turn-based role playing game originally developed by Climax Entertainment, Sonic! Software Planning, will be returning to mobile devices as Hive, the Japanese subsidiary of Korean company Vespa has acquired the rights from SEGA to develop a new title and announced Shining Force: Hikari to Yami no Eiyuu (tentative)(Heroes of Light and Darkness).

The new game will launch in the first half of 2022 worldwide as a free-to-play title with item-based in-app purchases. Specific territories were not announced, but the licensing includes right to distribute games in Japan, South Korea, and other Asian countries, as well as North America and Europe with a beta test being planned.

Shining Force: Heroes of Light and Darkness is currently in development with the goal of brining the strategy and fun of tactical RPGs to mobile devices, based on the unique setting and story of the Shining Force series and the fun of developing unique and charming characters.

Source: Gematsu,

SEGA Game Gear Micro Hardware Review – Bite-Sized Nostalgia

In June 2020, SEGA revealed the Game Gear Micro. Prior to the full announcement, fans speculated on if this would be the successor to the SEGA Genesis/Mega Drive Mini, how big the actual device was, how many games would be on the handheld and if it would receive a western release. Once the details were confirmed, internet reaction – specifically from westerners – was largely negative. With dimensions of 80×43 mm (about the size of a Dreamcast VMU) and four colors featuring four unique games each, the Micro truly was living up to its name. Micro in size, micro in game lineup, and micro in not living up to expectations set by the Genesis/Mega Drive Mini.

Now, five months later, I have the full lineup in hand (literally, I can hold all four in one hand!) and can make my own determination on the Game Gear Micro. Is it worthy of an import?

What franchise can SEGA resurrect that would excite you?

Its hard being SEGA, the company has a long history of delivering cult classic games and continuously moving on. This has lead to the company always being ‘ahead of its time’ due to them giving their developers freedom and always moving forward, but it also makes older fans miss key franchisees. For example there is a huge fanbase for franchises like Jet Set Radio, Streets of Rage, Golden Axe, Shining Force (original, not whatever we have now), Shinobi, OutRun, Phantasy Star, Virtua Fighter, and honestly the list can go on forever.

But the question here is, what franchise would you love to see SEGA resurrect?

We all have different tastes, so it should be interesting to read what you guys want. Personally, I have a hard time picking one franchise. Its like trying to pick which one of your kids you like best. Can I want them all? I guess if you forced me into a corner it would be cool to have a legit follow-up to OutRun 2. But what about you?

SEGA releases first Shining Resonance Refrain trailer

If you guys missed the news, SEGA will be porting the PlayStation 3 title Shining Resonance onto the PlayStation 4 as Shining Resonance Refrain. The title will have a slew of new content and aims to give the failed PlayStation 3 game another chance to make an impact. Now SEGA has released the game’s trailer, which you can see above.

The trailer features a brand new theme song that will be exclusive to the enhanced port. Outside of that, there isn’t much new things but we did find out its being typed out as “Shining Resonance Re:frain“, so maybe I should change it on other stories we have done?

SEGA survey results reveal what franchise fans want to see return

Sonic___SEGA_All-Stars_Racing-PCArtwork4539Sonic_Racing_GroupHave you been looking forward to the SEGA survey results for the brand Japanese consumers want to see revived? If you guys didn’t know about the SEGA survey, we did a post about it earlier this week. SEGA has revealed not only what franchise fans want to see revived, but also what brand their most invested in and their favorite characters. Get ready for some unexpected results!

So hit the jump to see all the answers, including how many people voted for each brand, after the jump.

[Via: NeoGAF]

Project X Zone removed from North America & Europe Nintendo eShop


For reasons unknown, the digital version of Project X Zone has been removed from the Nintendo eShop. Starting around 2012 games produced for the system typically sport a retail and digital version, with a few exceptions that are retail exclusive or vise versa. Typically the digital version would need to be loaded into an SD card, but the main benefit of choosing digital is slightly faster loading times, the convenience of not switching 3DS game cards, and the option to re-download the game at any given time.

SEGA News Bits: Shining series turns 25 years old

25 years ago today, on March 29th 1991, Shining in the Darkness released to the Japanese Mega Drive. While the original game did not light the world on fire, the later Shining Force games would become some of the best strategy RPGs ever produced. The series is still going strong, at least in Japan, with Blade Arcus from Shining EX releasing just last year.

Whatever you may think about the recent installments, most fans agree that the Shining Force games were legendary and the original Shining in the Darkness is to thank for starting the franchise. Join us on this SEGA News Bits as we share our Shining memories and talk about the possible future of the series, and don’t forget to brush up on all the SEGA anniversaries hitting this year!

If you enjoy the SEGA News Bits video formats make sure to like, share and subscribe to our YouTube for more.


SEGA Games That Are Celebrating Big Anniversaries in 2016


SEGA has created some highly popular and cult classic series of games that have stuck with people over the years. While most of you guys already know that Sonic the Hedgehog is celebrating his big 25th Anniversary this year, many other games get ignored because they aren’t as relevant as they used to be. Today we will list those mostly ignored video game franchises we all love. Did your favorite game make our list?

Developer Retrospective: Rolling with the arcade kings of SEGA’s Amusement Vision

YOTSD-AVAs we hit the halfway point of the Year of the SEGA Developers, we turn our attention to a favorite of ours: Amusement Vision. Okay, so being a SEGA fan site, every SEGA developer is our favorite. But just look at Amusement Vision’s portfolio: imaginative new games like Monkey Ball and Ollie King , follow-ups to classic franchises including Space Harrier’s Planet Harriers, Daytona USA 2001, and Spikeout and Virtua Striker sequels. Amusement Vision also holds the distinction of being the first SEGA developer to take on a Nintendo franchise with the much loved F-Zero GX and F-Zero AX.

As is customary for a developer month kick-off article, join us as we look back on how Amusement Vision came to be, their library of games, and where the staff are now!

Four more Game Gear games now available on the 3DS eShop

The SEGA Blog has revealed the next Game Gear titles heading to the Nintendo 3DS eShop. When are they available? Today! Right now, ready to download, are Sonic the Hedgehog, Columns, Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine, and Shining Force: Sword of Hajya! All four are fantastic titles. Sonic fans who never experienced the 8-bit version of Sonic’s first adventure should play the Game Gear Sonic the Hedgehog as soon as possible. Both Columns and Mean Bean Machine are solid puzzle games, and Shining Force: Sword of Hajya (aka Shining Force Gaiden II: The Evil God Awakens) is a great mobile version of the strategy rpg series.

SEGA also promises that more titles are on the way, so stay tuned!

Round Table: Who would you want to see reboot Shining Force franchise?


 Shining Force franchise was one of my favorites back in the day when Camelot Software was in charge of it in the 90’s, now-a-days SEGA has given other developers chances to reboot the franchise and the games have been received poorly by critics (and fans). Regardless of this, I still think that Shining Force franchise has the chance to comeback and do pretty well. This week on the round table we will discuss which developers should reboot Shining Force and release a classic game that this franchise deserves!